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UCLA suspends Ishmael Adams

UCLA suspends Ishmael Adams
UCLA's Ishmael Adams warms up before a game against Virginia in August 2014.

Ishmael Adams, a playmaking defensive back and kick returner for UCLA's football team, has been suspended indefinitely, Coach Jim Mora announced Tuesday.

Adams, a senior, was taken into custody by UCLA police at 3:36 a.m. Sunday for allegedly using force to rob a cellphone from an Uber driver, according to Tod Tamberg of UCLA's office of media relations.

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Adams was released on bail at 6:24 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The suspension is pending on whatever information the police investigation turns up, Mora said.

Adams is due in court on Sept. 22.

Adams is 5 feet 8 and 180 pounds, but he has started 26 consecutive games by playing bigger than his frame.

"He plays with that chip on his shoulder in practice, in games," Mora said last season. "He's a fighter, a scrapper."

Adams ability to create big plays was vital to the Bruins in 2014. Against Virginia in the season opener, Adams returned an interception for a touchdown. He also scored on a punt return only to have it nullified by a penalty in the 28-20 victory.

Adams had two touchdowns in a 62-27 victory over Arizona State, a 95-yard interception return and a 100-yard kickoff return.

"He has a knack for making plays," Mora said last season. "When he gets the ball in his hands, there is no way he is going to go down easy."

Adams is also well-known for jawing on the field, something that amused teammates and annoyed opponents.

"I don't think a day goes by where Ish doesn't try to start a fight in practice," former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley said last season. "He goes after receivers, even ours. That's good for us."

Adams' streak of consecutive starts for the Bruins appeared in jeopardy even before his arrest. Marcus Rios has been working with the first-team defense at Adams' cornerback spot. Adams was expected to be used frequently as a nickel back.

UCLA opens its season Saturday at the Rose Bowl against Virginia.

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chris.foster@latimes.com; Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

richard.winton@latimes.com; Twitter: @richardwinton

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